Europe blocks low tax web booze orders

The UK government saved tens of millions of pounds today as the ECJ ruled
that consumers who order alcohol and tobacco over the internet from countries
with lower excise duties will no longer be able to do so.

The ECJ ruled that the
purchases of goods over the internet or by telephone will still be liable for UK
excise duty, even if the goods are ordered from a member state with a lower tax

The ruling has been ruled as a significant victory for
HMRC, which stood to lose
large revenues if it lost the decision.

‘Purchases of goods made over the internet and telephone will still be liable
for UK excise rates, making this way of shopping for cigarettes or alcohol from
more favourable tax regime countries now less attractive,’ said Chas
Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at the

The ruling did not block the booze cruise, and consumers will still be
allowed to drive into lower tax regimes and transport low-tax goods back into
the UK for their personal use.

Further reading:

Read the full ECJ decision

decision could sink the booze cruise

ruling could mean end for ‘booze cruises’

Related reading